Fijian longan bears fruit in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: A rare species of longan known as the Fijian Longan (pometia pinnata) has been discovered growing in abundance at the Penang Tropical Fruit Farm in Jalan Teluk Bahang in Penang.

Farm owner Quah Ewe Kheng said he had previously tried planting this particular type of longan without much success, but the crop has now grown bigger and juicier than before.

“The seasonal longan, which tastes like rambutan with a tinge of durian, is native to the Asia-Pacific region and found mainly in the lowland subtropical and tropical areas from Sri Lanka to the Andaman Islands.

“The fruit, which matures in three to four months after flowering and ranges from 1cm to 4.5cm in diametre, is unique as it is black when ripe,” he said.

Quah said the masticated bark of the plant can be used to treat burns while the leaf and bark extracts were also used to treat a wide range of ailments such as diarrhea, dysentery, muscle and joint pains, colds and flu.

“I will be selling Fijian longan plants and fruits at the Botanic Gardens hawker stalls this Sunday from 9am onwards,” he said yesterday.

Those interested to buy the saplings are advised to call Alison (012-4108 328) as the number of plants are limited.

Source: The Star

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